Sports Illustrated recently set out to grade all of the recent coaching hires in college football — an impossible and arbitrary task from which a couple things stood out:

Three coaches were graded "A" hires, followed by an A-minus. And then we get a cluster of five coaches graded with a B-plus, including the Gophers' P.J. Fleck — a very nice grade, but not elite in the eyes of SI. Of him it is written: "Fleck oozes enthusiasm (about football, rowing the boat, life and cotton, among other things), and he'll be able to connect with kids on the recruiting trail."

Eleven other coaches are graded below Fleck. Most of them at least pass. But then we get to poor Lane Kiffin, formerly the head coach of the NFL's Raiders as well as storied college programs Tennessee and USC, all before the age of 40.

Now? He's the new head coach of Florida Atlantic — a move Sports Illustrated grades as its only F of the bunch.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.